Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 4

Robert Brumfield Testimony

In the process of a homestead application, it was necessary to have at least two people to testify that the applicant had lived on the land.  Robert Brumfield was the second witness to verify that Jack Gatlin was a homesteader.  Jerry Conerly was the other witness. At the time of Robert Brumfield's testimony, he was a 51 year old farmer. His birth year would have been 1836. 

There were a series of testimony questions.  In question 3 Are you related to the claimant or in any way interested in the claim, or are you connected with him in business of any kind?   "I am not--- no way interested or connected with him. I am only a neighbor of his." 

 In questions 4 through 8,  Robert explains that he lives about a half mile away from Jack and he has lived on his property for 16 years which would have been in 1871. Two other neighbors are Tom Magee and Gail Brumfield live  further away.  He lives nearer to him than any one else. Robert can not give a description of the land. He has known Jack Gatlin for 17 years.

Robert Brumfield's testimony agrees with that of Jerry Conerly. Jack Gatlin a farmer, has lived with his family on his land  since March, 1879. He has seen him working on the land.  "Saw him many times, too many to remember and every time I passed,  I saw him at work ... I saw him building his house there. He has lived there seven years and lives there now." 
 His description of improvements made on the homestead correspond to that given by Jerry Conerly. In question 23, Robert states "I think the land is worth $300.00 and has never offered for sale that I know of." The value of three hundred dollars in 2017 is $7468.05.  Robert Brumfield states in questions 26 through 28  Jack has planted crops for the season and "I think he intends to remain on the land after making final proof. 

Jack provided witnesses concerning his homestead yet almost failed to receive his homestead. More information to come.

----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 3

Jerry Conerly Testimony

In the process of a homestead application, it was necessary to have at least two people to testify that the applicant had lived on the land.  Jerry Conerly was one of the witnesses to verify that Jack Gatlin was a homesteader.  At the time of his testimony, he was a 50 year old farmer. His birth year would have been 1837. He states that Jack Gatlin was his son-in-law.   Jerry Conerly lived on his land for 12 years and Jack lived about a mile away. Tom Magee and Gail Brumfield are Jack Gatlin’s neighbors who live about a half a mile away. 
Jerry states that he has known Jack for about 18 years living in various places in Pike County.  Jack Gatlin was 34 years old in 1887 at the time of his testimony therefore Jerry Conerly knew him since he was 16 years old. 

Jerry Conerly states that Jack is a self-employed farmer with no boarding place on the land.  He describes the homestead as pine land, timber and farming.  The timber on the land has been used only for fencing and farming purposes. Jerry states that he has “been on the land a number of times too many to remember.” 

 In Question # 21 State in detail the character of the improvements; what they consist of, and when they were made; the value of each distinct improvement, fully describing the same; also weather they were made by the claimant or by some other person.
Jerry’s testimony gives a detailed description of Jack’s family house. The ”Dwelling house , a boxed house of one room with a gallery, with 3 doors and 2 windows, a dirt chimney, a kitchen”   On the homestead, there also was a “ log house with one door dirt chimney, a smoke house built with logs; a chicken house made of logs and split pickets; log corn crib with double slabs and a loft overhead; 3 log cotton houses; they were built at different times during the seven years by the claimant, but do not know when each house was built.  He has fences and cleared lands. They are valued as follows: Dwelling house worth about $35 ($871.21 in 2017), kitchen worth about 10 dollars ($248.94 in 2017), smoke house $10 ($248.94 in 2017), chicken house $5 ($124.97 in 2017), corn crib, stables worth about $30($746.81 in 2017) , cotton house about $30 ($746.81 in 2017)."    
In Question #23 and 24  inquires about the estimated value of the land and how long the claimant has lived on the land. Jack Gatlin and his family have occupied the land since March, 1879. “The land is worth $300 and never been offered for sale that I (Jerry) know of.”
Jerry states he believes that the family resides on the land and “by seeing him there and at work, and seeing his family there I know he has been living there.

Jerry Conerly signs his testimony with an X.

----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 2

Jack Gatlin homestead testimony 

In the testimony of the homestead claimant, there are a series of questions. These records often have interviews of the homesteader and neighbors providing written oral history and  on a timeline. 

Jack Gatlin at the time of his homestead testimony was 34 years old in July 16, 1887. His post office address was Walker's Bridge. As a native born citizen, he never filed a prior homestead.  He describes the land as ordinary pine land with pine trees  and farming. 

 He made the homestead entry July 1, 1880 and he built a house in March, 1879.  He made improvements with about $100 which is the equivalent of $2,353.57 in 2017.  He states that he has lived nowhere else.
Question #19 Where have you voted since establishing residence on this land, and where did you last vote and how long have you voted there? Ans. I voted in Holmesville & have always voted there. He states that he was only absent from the land to attend church, visit neighbors and the town on business. His family at that time was a wife and six children. 

Jack was asked did he and his family live in the house during the winter after filing with a reply of they did
In questions # 28 to 30   he provided an account of all his material assets which included the house, furniture, farm implements and livestock.   He had a box house was 20 x 27 (540 square feet) with  another box house, several out houses,  smoke house, corn crib for a total value of $610.00 which is the equivalent of $15,185.04 in 2017.

Questions #33-35  Jack planted crops for seven seasons  consisting of corn, cotton and peas. During the first season, he cultivated 8 acres, 9 acres the second season and continued to increase until he had planted 40 acres. I suspect that this detailed inventory was made by the county clerk so they could levy taxes.  

In questions 38- 44  Jack states he pays his taxes in Magnolia, Mississippi and there are no other improvements for tax assessments and he alone made the homestead entry not to benefit  anyone else.   

  I really enjoy reading the homestead records from the Bureau of Land Management.  The testimony provide original account of the the life of the individual.  There is a discrepancy in Jack Gatlin birthday.  He was 34 years old in 1887 making his birth year 1853.  In the 1900 Pike county, Mississippi Federal Census his birth date is recorded as September, 1881. Jack Gatlin  was a productive farmer with a family who utilized his voting franchise and paid taxes. 

--- The Tree Gardener

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Jack Gatlin Homesteader Part 1

Jack Gatlin was a farmer in Pike County, Mississippi.   He obtained his land through the homestead application  #10323 which was initially filed in June 26, 1880. He was 21 years old at that time. On the application, it states "that I prevented from attendance at the land office in person by reason of distance and want of means." It is not clear who actually submitted the application. 

The filing fee of seven dollars was received by the receiver's office July 1, 1880. Seven dollars in 1880 would be equivalent to $158.97  now in 2017. 

 The homestead process to obtain land consisted of filing an application, improving the land and filing a deed of title.  The homesteader had to live on the land for 5 years, improve the land by planting crops and build a dwelling 12 feet by 14 feet size. Proof of residency also had to be established before the deed was issued. To prove residency on the land. witnesses had to testify the homesteader had been on the land.

Jack Gatlin witnesses where Jerry Conerly, Robert Brumfield, Henry Brumfield and Robert Collins. In the Bureau of Land Management records, the testimony of the claimant Jack Gatlin and two of his witnesses Jerry Conerly and Robert Brumfield are written.  I will share the testimonies in following posts. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Jack Gatlin Family

 I have featured on several blog posts Eddie Brumfield Sr.  paternal line his father Willis C. Brumfield. These are the decendants of Liddie who was married to first Louis Brumfield and then Calvin Caston. I am still searching for more information. There are other branches that are connected to Liddie Brumfield Caston descendants.

Two branches from Eddie Brumfield Sr. maternal line are Gatlin and Conerly. In two previous blogs, I have already discussed Willis C. Brumfield and Neathie Gatlin Brumfield and their children which the family is listed in the 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census.  The links are at the bottom of this blog post. 
Jack Gatlin was born September, 1851 and died October 24, 1924
 Neathie Gatlin was born September 23, 1882 in Pike County to Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly.

Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly Gatlin  date unknown

 Neathie is listed in the 1900 Pike County, Mississippi Federal Census  with her parents and some of her siblings. Edmond Gatlin her older brother was married to Elnora Magee in January, 1899 and living in a separate household listed below his parents and siblings on the census enumeration. On the census record Jack and Neathie were married for 25 years.

"United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9XT-14J : accessed 21 May 2017), Jack Gatlin, Beat 1 (part of), Pike, Mississippi, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 105, sheet 5A, family 65, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,825.

Enlargement of 1900 census

Jack Gatlin
Zella (Zellar)
Norah (Elnora)

Jack and Alice Gatlin  with children are also enumerated in the 1880 census.  Jack Gatlin occupation is listed as farming.   I find it interesting that Alice is recorded as "helps in field". Most of the wives in the 1880 census  are listed as "keeps house". 

Year: 1880; Census Place: , Pike, Mississippi; Roll: 662; Family History Film: 1254662; Page: 347D; Enumeration District: 37; Image: .

Gatlin Jack

Helps in field
At home
    Edmon J 
At home
At home

More information to come  for Jack Gatlin and family

----The Tree Gardener


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Liddie and Calvin Caston son Isham Caston

Isham Caston

Isham Caston is thought to be a son of Liddie and Calvin Caston.  He is listed with his parents in the 1870 Pike County,  At the time of the enumeration, he was 12 years old with a calculated year of birth of 1858.   The 1870 Federal census does not identify familial relationships.

Year: 1870; Census Place: Township 2 Range 9 East, Pike, Mississippi; Roll: M593_745; Page: 128B; Image: 262; Family History Library Film: 552244
Caston Calvin 38
                   Lydia 43
             Thomas 17
             Elvira 15
             Rosann 14
             Isham 12
             Green 10
             Silas 7
             Jesse 4
             Adeline 3

His name appears again in the Pike County School census in 1878 as 19 years old.  In the school records, the location and a child’s name is listed but not the parent or guardian.  Isham name is recorded with other children who have been identified to be children of Liddie and Calvin.  

 "Mississippi, Enumeration of Educable Children, 1850-1892; 1908-1957," images, <i>FamilySearch</i> (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1-14208-33487-64?cc=1856425&wc=10918067 : accessed 22 Feb 2014), Pike > 1878 > image 111 of 200.

His name does not appear with the family in the 1880 census. He would have been 21 years old and possible living on his own.  I have not been able to locate him in the federal census or any other records.  I have not performed an exhaustive search and I do not know if he had any descendants but the search continues.  Possibly  a family member will know what happen to him.

-----The Tree Gardener

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

To Tell The Truth

Don't Always Follow The Crowd

In the process of my genealogy research, I have tried to perform a reasonable search of information that is available. That being said, I do not know all the information that is available about a family member or family.  My research is also a search. I am constantly looking for information. I try to record the source origin, correlate it with known facts and look for details. The internet is loaded with genealogy sites free and paid such as  Ancestry.com, Family Search, Newspaper.com, FindaGrave,  Genealogybank, Fold3 and  Heritage Quest to name only a few. These sites often has transcription errors of names, sex and possibly race.   

Some of the sites employ elements of crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a technique in which an organization or individuals use many people or a crowd for pay or free to give information to solve a problem. Wikipedia is a prime example.  Anyone can edit and contribute to Wikipedia.  Ancestry.com family trees also uses crowdsourcing.   Is all the information true?    
The majority of people in my trees have been dead decades ago and I have met very few of their descendants. I am on a mission. I feel that my African family with disseminated trees with roots in America have a story that is worth telling. That is why I have this blog.   Through the years I have tried to educate myself by attending genealogy conferences and reading books.  I have visited the National Archives, Mississippi Archives, Tennessee Archives, Allen County Library, Family History Library and various other libraries. I am a member of the National Genealogy Society but not a certified genealogist.
 I also have attended family reunions and communicated with previously unknown cousins. I will be forever grateful for meeting my cousin the late Roger Dale Wilson.  He showed me the Caston and Brumfield connection through Liddie Brumfield Caston.    I would like to acknowledge my cousins who helped me along my mission Lexie Mae Bullock Johnson, Lexie Pearl Smith Elmore, Daisy Smith, Gerald Hollins, Manual Graves, Carletta Graves, Eddie Brumfield Jr., Kerry Shelton, Belinda Howard and the late Eddie J. Brumfield Sr.  

Ancestry.com has used crowdsourcing on the family trees they have listed.  I have looked on Ancestry.com at other family trees listed and there are errors in the information.  There are also errors in the information that I have on my trees on Ancestry.com.  When I find the true information, I try to make corrections.

Most recently on my tree, I listed Annie Gatlin who married Thomas J. Brumfield as a child of Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly. When I reviewed my sources, Annie Gatlin was never listed as a child of Jack Gatlin Sr. and Alice Conerly. I really don’t know where I got that information.  I did not record my source which is a newbie mistake. The information I recorded was wrong and three other people put the wrong information on their Ancestry.com trees.

My lesson is to check and record the source.  Don't always follow the crowd because the crowd could be wrong.

------The TreeGardener

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Eddie J. Brumfield Sr Birthday

 Eddie J. Brumfield Sr.

On April 12, 2017,  Eddie J. Althea and Kim 

 I had an opportunity to visit with my cousins Eddie J. and two of his daughters Althea and Kim on April 12, 2017 at his home in New Orleans. He was sitting at a computer playing solitaire with a bright smile and sharp mind. We talked about family and laughed about the past. 

Eddie J. Brumfield Sr. April 12, 2017

Eddie J. was to celebrate his 100th birthday on May 6, 2017. A great celebration was planned by family and friends for a man who had an incredible life. He passed on Thursday evening May 4, 2017 two days before his birthday.   

I am grateful for knowing and having an opportunity to spend time with my cousin Eddie J. Brumfield Sr. May the love of GOD enfold the family and wonderful memories sustain during this time.  I know he is resting in the arms of GOD.

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens a time to be born and a time to die ...Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 NIV

-------The Tree Gardener

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Genealogy Trip

RootsTech and Family History Library

I am presently on a genealogy research trip to Salt Lake City, Utah. The Family Search Library located in Salt Lake City is the largest genealogy library in the world. I will also be attending the RootsTech conference which is billed as the largest genealogy conference.   I have been preparing for this trip for years.  Years ago my level of genealogy knowledge was rudimentary. I would not have known where to start if I had made this trip when I first looked for my ancestors.  

Most of my research has centered on my maternal line in Mississippi and my paternal line in Georgia and Tennessee. The trees in my forest have also included my in- laws. From the great northern migration after World War Two described in the book Warmth of Another Sun by Isabel Wilkerson my search has spread to many other states. I have included New York, Illinois, Indiana Ohio and Pennsylvania. I have visited the Allen County and Newberry library, the National Archives, Mississippi and Tennessee state archives.   I have tried to collect known information from various sources. As I learn about my trees, I know that I probably have to visit the depositories again.  It is my hope that I can break down more brick walls beyond 1870. I hope to blog about more new discoveries.

---- The Tree Gardener

Monday, February 6, 2017

Eddie Brumfield Sr. Part 5 On Raising Children (and other family vices).

This is the last of the video series recorded  in 2013 of Eddie Brumfield Sr.  It is a continuation of his conversation about his family. 

Eddie Brumfield Sr. discuss how he wants to be remembered and how he provided for his family.  He tells several family stories about his brother Thad, wife, son and other family members. In these stories, he describes the hazards and perils of giving children too much.   Eddie Sr. explains how he is related to the Gatlin family. He also affirms that his paternal grandparents were not married. His paternal grandfather Tom Brumfield used his money and influence to help his cousin who committed a crime.   His father Willis Brumfield always had the protection of  the "white folks  and Mr. Henry"  in the community. Eddie Sr. characterize his mother as a hard worker.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Eddie Brumfield Sr. Part 4 Principles of Work

Eddie Brumfield Sr. at 93 years old discussed his work ethic. He performed  piece work handling cowhides for 4 cent each.  He latter started working daily on the river as a longshoreman. He tried to learn every aspect related to his job.  With much humor Eddie Sr. explains how he progressed from a worker to crew foreman supervisor of 23 men. 

 In this episode he also divulge his secret to maintaining a sharp mind. He discusses his relationships and family. Eddie Sr. talks about his enjoyment of playing Dominos and card games Tonk and Coon-can. Coon-can also known as Conquian  is regarded as one the oldest form of Rummy. Tonk or tunk is a fast moving card game with features of Rummy.